50 Best Community Colleges of 2021

The best community colleges provide an effective springboard into higher education, offering students high-quality two-year degree programs in a wide range of disciplines. The top rated community colleges offer a broad selection of associate’s degrees, affordable tuition rates, and strong partnerships with public four-year schools so that students can easily transfer their credits into accredited bachelor’s degree programs.

50 Best Community Colleges of 2021

What is a community college? A community college is a public two-year college that awards associate degrees as well as some professional certifications. Community colleges typically attract students drawn from the surrounding region. Top community colleges tend to offer a wide selection of associate degrees spanning a variety of disciplines. Community colleges can be especially attractive to students interested in getting an affordable start on a four-year degree. So too, these schools appeal to students seeking professional two-year degrees designed to provide technical and practical skills for immediate entrance into the job market.

We’ve identified 839 community colleges in the US. In order to be included in this list of the best community colleges, a school needs to satisfy the following three conditions:

  1. It must be fully accredited.
  2. It must have a student body of at least 1,000 students.
  3. It must primarily provide two-year, or associate, degree programs (along with certificate credentials in most cases).

How do we determine the best community colleges?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. For associate degree rankings, we rank the best two-year colleges based upon what we call “Concentrated Influence.” Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of students.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger schools. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights community colleges that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best community colleges for an associate’s degree or professional certification, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking which is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.

The Best Community Colleges in the U.S.

  1. Anne Arundel Community College
    #1

    Anne Arundel Community College

    #2784 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Student body

    8K

    Arnold, MD

    View profile

    Most Influential Alumni

    • Robin P. Newhouse professor of nursing
    • Diane Black, United States Representative
    • David G. Boschert, former member of Maryland House of Delegates
    • Douglas B. Byerly, musician
    • Robert A. Costa, member of Maryland House of Delegates, 2003–2013
    • Brian Crecente editor of Kotaku, 2004–present
    • Steven Thomas Fischer, two-time Emmy nominated film producer
    • Ronald Malfi horror novelist
    • C. Edward Middlebrooks, former Maryland State Senator, 1995–1999
    • Robert R. Neall (1971), member of Maryland House of Delegates, 1975–1987. Anne Arundel County Executive, 1990–1994
    • Michael Orzechowski, playwright
    • Travis Pastrana motocross racer
    • Edward Snowden attended but did not graduate
    • Darrell Williams, former member of White House Communications Agency, (1991-1997 and 1998–2004)
  2. Roxbury Community College
    #2

    Roxbury Community College

    #5564 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Student body

    1K

    Roxbury Crossing, MA

    View profile

  3. Eastern Maine Community College
    #3

    Eastern Maine Community College

    #13543 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Student body

    1K

    Bangor, ME

    View profile

  4. Springfield Technical Community College
    #4

    Springfield Technical Community College

    #6641 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Student body

    3K

    Springfield, MA

    View profile

    What is Springfield Technical Community College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. College of Marin
    #5

    College of Marin

    #3227 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Student body

    3K

    Kentfield, CA

    View profile

    What is College of Marin known for?

    College of Marin's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Business
    • Anthropology
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. Lamar Institute of Technology
    #7

    Lamar Institute of Technology

    #3951 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Student body

    2K

    Beaumont, TX

    View profile

  7. Kennedy–King College
    #8

    Kennedy–King College

    #3680 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Student body

    2K

    Chicago, IL

    View profile

    What is Kennedy–King College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. West Kentucky Community and Technical College
    #9

    West Kentucky Community and Technical College

    #4926 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Student body

    3K

    Paducah, KY

    View profile

    What is West Kentucky Community and Technical College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. Lamar State College–Port Arthur
    #10

    Lamar State College–Port Arthur

    #9091 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Student body

    1K

    Port Arthur, TX

    View profile

  10. Montgomery College
    #11

    Montgomery College

    #2229 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Student body

    14K

    Rockville, MD

    View profile

    What is Montgomery College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. Mitchell Community College
    #12

    Mitchell Community College

    #9747 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Student body

    2K

    Statesville, NC

    View profile

    What is Mitchell Community College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College
    #13

    University of Arkansas – Pulaski Technical College

    #14130 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Student body

    4K

    North Little Rock, AR

    View profile

  13. Northern Essex Community College
    #14

    Northern Essex Community College

    #7280 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Student body

    3K

    Haverhill, MA

    View profile

    What is Northern Essex Community College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. Eastern Arizona College
    #15

    Eastern Arizona College

    #2299 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Student body

    4K

    Thatcher, AZ

    View profile

    What is Eastern Arizona College known for?

    Eastern Arizona College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Medical
    • Earth Sciences
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. Massachusetts Bay Community College
    #16

    Massachusetts Bay Community College

    #7596 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Student body

    3K

    Wellesley Hills, MA

    View profile

  16. County College of Morris
    #17

    County College of Morris

    #6943 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Student body

    6K

    Randolph, NJ

    View profile

    What is County College of Morris known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. Bunker Hill Community College
    #18

    Bunker Hill Community College

    #5885 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Student body

    8K

    Boston, MA

    View profile

    What is Bunker Hill Community College known for?

    Bunker Hill Community College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Social Work
    • History
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. Chabot College
    #19

    Chabot College

    #2410 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Student body

    8K

    Hayward, CA

    View profile

    What is Chabot College known for?

    Chabot College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Economics
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. Holyoke Community College
    #20

    Holyoke Community College

    #7962 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Student body

    3K

    Holyoke, MA

    View profile

    What is Holyoke Community College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. Capital Community College
    #21

    Capital Community College

    #6827 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Student body

    2K

    Hartford, CT

    View profile

    What is Capital Community College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. Columbia College
    #22

    Columbia College

    #8665 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Student body

    1K

    Sonora, CA

    View profile

    What is Columbia College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. Brookdale Community College
    #24

    Brookdale Community College

    #3250 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Student body

    9K

    Lincroft, NJ

    View profile

    What is Brookdale Community College known for?

    Brookdale Community College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Law
    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Social Work
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  23. Bossier Parish Community College
    #25

    Bossier Parish Community College

    #6696 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Student body

    4K

    Bossier City, LA

    View profile

  24. Los Angeles Valley College
    #26

    Los Angeles Valley College

    #2922 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Student body

    10K

    Valley Glen, CA

    View profile

    What is Los Angeles Valley College known for?

    Los Angeles Valley College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • History
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  25. Butler Community College
    #27

    Butler Community College

    #6217 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Student body

    5K

    El Dorado, KS

    View profile

    What is Butler Community College known for?

    Butler Community College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Law
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  26. Community College of Beaver County
    #28

    Community College of Beaver County

    #8711 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Student body

    1K

    Monaca, PA

    View profile

  27. De Anza College
    #29

    De Anza College

    #1543 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Student body

    14K

    Cupertino, CA

    View profile

    What is De Anza College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  28. Western Piedmont Community College
    #30

    Western Piedmont Community College

    #12799 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Student body

    1K

    Morganton, NC

    View profile

    What is Western Piedmont Community College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  29. Sacramento City College
    #31

    Sacramento City College

    #2400 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Student body

    15K

    Sacramento, CA

    View profile

    What is Sacramento City College known for?

    Sacramento City College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  30. City College of San Francisco
    #32

    City College of San Francisco

    #1463 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Student body

    15K

    San Francisco, CA

    View profile

    What is City College of San Francisco known for?

    City College of San Francisco's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Business
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Medical
    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Communications
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  31. Nassau Community College
    #33

    Nassau Community College

    #2658 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Student body

    12K

    Garden City, NY

    View profile

    What is Nassau Community College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  32. West Valley College
    #34

    West Valley College

    #5520 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Student body

    5K

    Saratoga, CA

    View profile

    What is West Valley College known for?

    West Valley College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  33. Santa Fe Community College
    #35

    Santa Fe Community College

    #7982 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Student body

    2K

    Santa Fe, NM

    View profile

    What is Santa Fe Community College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  34. Fullerton College
    #36

    Fullerton College

    #2778 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Student body

    14K

    Fullerton, CA

    View profile

    What is Fullerton College known for?

    Fullerton College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  35. Merritt College
    #38

    Merritt College

    #1466 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Student body

    4K

    Oakland, CA

    View profile

    What is Merritt College known for?

    Merritt College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Business
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Communications
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  36. Trinity Valley Community College
    #39

    Trinity Valley Community College

    #5465 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Student body

    4K

    Athens, TX

    View profile

    What is Trinity Valley Community College known for?

    Trinity Valley Community College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  37. Lassen Community College
    #40

    Lassen Community College

    #12621 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Student body

    1K

    Susanville, CA

    View profile

    What is Lassen Community College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  38. Northwest Mississippi Community College
    #41

    Northwest Mississippi Community College

    #7187 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Student body

    6K

    Senatobia, MS

    View profile

    What is Northwest Mississippi Community College known for?

    Northwest Mississippi Community College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  39. Mesa Community College
    #42

    Mesa Community College

    #4215 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Student body

    12K

    Mesa, AZ

    View profile

    What is Mesa Community College known for?

    Mesa Community College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  40. North Dakota State College of Science
    #43

    North Dakota State College of Science

    #3629 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Student body

    2K

    Wahpeton, ND

    View profile

    What is North Dakota State College of Science known for?

    North Dakota State College of Science's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  41. Richland Community College
    #45

    Richland Community College

    #7700 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Student body

    2K

    Decatur, IL

    View profile

  42. Central Wyoming College
    #47

    Central Wyoming College

    #5843 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Student body

    1K

    Riverton, WY

    View profile

    What is Central Wyoming College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  43. Lewis and Clark Community College
    #48

    Lewis and Clark Community College

    #5309 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Student body

    3K

    Godfrey, IL

    View profile

    What is Lewis and Clark Community College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  44. Cañada College
    #49

    Cañada College

    #4788 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $1K

    Student body

    3K

    Redwood City, CA

    View profile

    What is Cañada College known for?

    Most Influential Alumni

  45. Baltimore City Community College
    #50

    Baltimore City Community College

    #6441 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Student body

    3K

    Baltimore, MD

    View profile

    What is Baltimore City Community College known for?

    Baltimore City Community College's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

Find the Best Community Colleges Near You

Resources for College-bound students

Stay informed! Get the latest Academic Influence news, information, and rankings with our upcoming newsletter.